About Me

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Orem, Utah, United States
My name is Annie Campbell and 9 years ago my son was diagnosed with Autism. Over the years of treatments, therapies and schools (with my son) I have learned countless techniques for dealing with children with special needs. Through my experience in primary, I have come up with some specific tips to create a happy atmosphere in church.
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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giveaway/Input results

Thanks for all the input about our next video! It's very beneficial to hear what would be MOST helpful to families and wards right now. It was very close but the Autism explanation won! So we will begin putting this one together ASAP.

Also, the winner of the first copy of the new DVD as well as a copy of Primary Angels, is.....

A Daily Woman!

Congratulation! Please email me with the address you would like them to be shipped to.

Thanks again for all your wonderful comments.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Appearances can be deceiving

Lately I've come up against the same situation over and over with my son, kids in my primary class and my nephew. What's the issue, you ask? Well, all these kids physically appear to be normal. However developmentally, they are not.

My nephew was adopted from Haiti about 8 years ago and came here with some pretty significant health issues. Due to these health issues, he is developmentally delayed. So even though he appears to be physically 11, developmentally he is 6. An Adults expectation's of a 6 year old vs an 11 year old differ quite a bit.

I've seen this with my own son as well. He looks and acts very normal most of the time. So when he gets upset and throws a fit, it can be rather shocking for others. My family is great with Jackson, but when this happens, they freeze up and don't know what to do. What I try to remind them is that he is a couple years behind in some areas. In a few ways, he's like a 5-6 year old.

What I want people to get from this, is to try and remember to have patience for kids with developmental disabilities. They most likely look and act "normal" but keep in mind, they are not. Their brains function differently and at different levels too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(dis)Abilities and the Gospel!

So a friend of mine wrote a book called (dis)Abilities and the Gospel that comes out in May! In celebration of April being Autism Awareness month, she is doing an awesome promotion! For every 10 books preordered though her website (www.danyelleferguson.com) she will donate one book to a church, charity or library. Names will be chosen from the preorders and they get to choose where the book is sent to.

I'm really excited about his book! I've known the author for about 5 years and she is a great resource for parents and teachers.

I hope things are going well for everyone! As aways, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The power of perspective

I had an experience yesterday with my son I wanted to share with you. Jackson created a Lego movie and entered it into his school art contest for film. He won 1st in his school, and then 1st again at regionals for his division. Last night was the awards ceremony for the state competition. He was very excited and was expecting to get a trophy even though we had discussed that he might not win, and that's ok. He had fun making the movie and he already did so well. Well, last night his name was called and he got an "Honorable Mention" certificate. He was very sad that be didn't win a trophy. This is where the art of perspective comes in. I kept a smile on my face and told him how proud of him I was. I continued on to explain that he won 3rd place out of the whole state and that is amazing! His division is 3-5 grade so he is in the youngest group. To go so far against older kids and on his first movie ever was incredible! Then we talked about what kind of movie he wanted to make next.

The point is, everything is in how you say it. If I had said "oh you got 3rd place. Good job. You can try again next year" he would have been devastated. But because I said "Wow! You got 3rd place! That's amazing!", he was proud of himself and told everyone he saw that he got 3rd place.

In my Primary Angels DVD, there is an example where I'm giving out reinforcements to kids. In that scene, I ran out of candy treats and only had gold fish left. All the kids saw what kinds of treats I had and who got what. So when I only had goldfish left, I had to "sell" it. I got excited and said "guess what you earned today?! You earned goldfish! Good job!".

Remember that the kids respond to your attitude about things. If your excited, they will be. If your neutral, they will follow your lead.

Keep up a positive attitude and good luck in your callings!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ever think about making a short video?

So, just quickly, my husband started his own blog! He filmed and edited the Primary Angels DVD for me so I think he's amazing. He produces short (60 sec) videos for marketing purposes and he's giving away one on his blog! Check it out at http://videofrontier.blogspot.com for all the details and to enter!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Getting creative

This last couple of weeks my son developed a new bad habit of sorts. He began kicking and hitting people when frustrated and angry. We tried talking to him about how it hurts people. We tried positive reinforcements when he didn't. We tried negative reinforcements when he did. And then I asked the school psychologist for input. She suggested deep breathing anxiety reducing techniques. So we practiced those with Jackson for about 20 min daily. The problem with that, we discovered, is that the kicking had turned into an instinct. He barely thought about doing it so he couldn't get angry and stop everything to do his breathing exercises. He is only 9 after all. So what else could we do?

When Jackson was very young we did a lot of occupational therapy with him. Because of this, I picked up a lot and I'm actually beginning school this summer for occupational therapy. Anyway, my brain started working overtime trying to come up with any way to stop the aggressive behavior.

This is what I finally came up with. I went to the dollar store and bought a bag of silicone frogs. I put one in my sons pants pocket and explained that if he felt angry and wanted to kick or hit, I wanted him to pull out the frog and try to rip it apart. Sounds crazy I know. My husband just smiled and called me a hippie. Well, the first day we tried it, I had explained to his teachers about the frog and what he was supposed to do. I picked him up so excited to hear about his day. He was so proud to show me the frog. It was in pieces! He said he felt himself getting upset so he pulled out the frog and ripped the legs off. Then the arms. And finally the head. I know it's a little morbid but it worked! It was something that he could transfer the anger to and it was fun too! It also let him expel some energy. He's been taking a frog to school for the last week and a half and he hasn't kicked or hit since! It sounds like a crazy idea but I'm for whatever works.

When trying to get rid of aggressive behaviors I always try positive reinforcements that creates good behaviors first. Sometimes that doesn't work and you have to get creative. Parenting and teaching kids with Autism requires thinking outside the box. What things have tried to extinguish aggressive behaviors?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Autism Awareness Month!

Since April is Autism Awareness month, we decided to give TWO free finger flashlights with all online orders of the Primary Angels DVD!